What is Oculoplastic Surgery?
Oculoplastic Surgery, also known as Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive, Oculofacial or Eye Plastic Surgery, is a surgical subspecialty of Ophthalmology that deals with the medical and surgical management of deformities and abnormalities of the eyelids, lacrimal (tear) system, orbit (bony socket) and the adjacent face. An Oculoplastic Surgeon is an Ophthalmologist (medical doctor and eye surgeon) who has completed additional advanced training in plastic surgery as it relates to the eyes and surrounding structures.
The word plastic is derived from a Greek word that means to mold or to give form. Plastic surgery is surgery that molds or reconstructs parts of the human body. Oculoplastic Surgery is plastic surgery as it pertains to the area around the eye. The eyelids and surrounding areas are extremely complex and delicate structures that are vital to the preservation of sight and are important features of a normal facial appearance. Since surgery in this area can affect one’s ability to see, Oculoplastic Surgeons are uniquely qualified to perform this delicate surgery and to provide care the eye itself may need.
After college and four years of medical school a future Oculoplastic Surgeon will complete a one year internship and a three year residency in Ophthalmology, after which time two additional years are spent in advanced fellowship training in Ophthalmic Plastic, Orbit and Reconstructive Surgery. Board certification by the American Board of Ophthalmology is required in order to complete fellowship training. It is worth noting that the majority of general plastic surgeons complete five years of residency training, only two of which are devoted to plastic surgery. During these two years the general plastic surgery resident must acquire skill in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery on all parts of the body. By contrast, Oculoplastic Surgeons spend two years concentrating only on the eyelids, orbit and surrounding areas. This gives the Oculoplastic Surgeon an unparalleled level of training and experience to deal with the complex issues involved in plastic surgery around the eye.
Most Ophthalmic Plastic, Orbit and Reconstructive Surgery fellowship programs are accredited and monitored by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). There are currently only thirty two ASOPRS accredited Fellowship positions in the United States, two of which are here at TOC Eye & Face under the directorship of Dr. Sean Blaydon and Dr. Vikram Durairaj, faculty Dr. John Shore, Dr. Tanuj Nakra, Dr. Emily Bratton, and Dr. Marie Somogyi.
ASOPRS was founded in 1969 to establish a qualified body of surgeons who have training and experience in the highly specialized field of Ophthalmic Plastic and Orbit Surgery. Our own Dr. Shore was President of ASOPRS in 2003. The purpose of ASOPRS is to advance education, research and the quality of clinical practice in the fields of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery specializing in the face, orbits, eyelids, and lacrimal system. Membership in ASOPRS requires completion of an approved fellowship, the passing of rigorous written and oral examinations, and the completion of a thesis research project. ASOPRS currently has over 450 national and 30 international members.
All six of our TOC physicians are Diplomates of the American Board of Ophthalmology, have completed ASOPRS accredited fellowship training in Ophthalmic Plastic, Orbit and Reconstructive Surgery and are active members of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), as well as local state and county medical societies. We believe that choosing the right surgeon is a critical decision in your choice to have cosmetic or reconstructive surgery around your eyes. Our physicians have both the experience and reputation of providing extraordinary results and uncompromising care.